LISBON, May 19 (Xinhua) — Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa has said that Portugal firmly supports the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by China since its commencement.
Rebelo de Sousa made the remarks while meeting visiting Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi at the Presidential Palace in Lisbon on Friday.
While conveying his warmest regards to Chinese President Xi Jinping, Rebelo de Sousa said that Portugal attaches great importance to China and believes that Portugal is one of the European countries which understands China best.
There is always consensus over Portugal’s cooperation with China among both ruling and opposition parties, he said.
The president said that the relations between Portugal and China have been developing very smoothly and the economic cooperation between the two countries in recent years has been enhanced to a very high level, something unique in European countries.
Portugal and China enjoy the benefit of a profound friendship and the common vision of strengthening mutual cooperation, said the president, adding that Portugal is willing to make joint efforts with China and forge ahead along the road of mutual cooperation.
Rebelo de Sousa said Portugal has been supporting the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by President Xi since its very commencement.
Portugal, with its finest ports in Europe, is willing to take this advantage and strengthen cooperation with China and further push forward the construction under the Belt and Road Initiative, he added.
The president said that Portugal is open to Chinese investment and anticipates Chinese businesses to increase their investment in all domains, including strategic industries such as finance, energy, transportation, ports and electric vehicles in particular.
He added that Portugal is also willing to strengthen the cooperation with China in third-party markets by starting programs in Africa and Portuguese-speaking countries.
Wang conveyed Xi’s sincere regards to Rebelo de Sousa.
Wang said that Portugal has great potential for development with its long history and favorable geographic location.
China treats Portugal as an important partner for joint construction under the Belt and Road Initiative and to discuss and sign a memorandum of understanding on cooperation as soon as possible, Wang said, adding with it both sides will make efforts in opening up new areas of mutually beneficial cooperation by linking each other’s developmental strategies.
Wang said that China is highly appreciative that Portugal is accommodative towards China’s investment and is willing to make joint efforts with Portugal in promoting the level of mutual investment and views the cooperation in investment between China and Portugal as a model of cooperation between countries to achieve mutual benefit and win-win results in a highly efficient, orderly and sustainable way.
He said China is willing to strengthen cooperations with Portugal in important fields such as sea ports which are the major concerns of Portugal, and actively explore the ways of starting third-party cooperation. Enditem